This Craft Beer Week Flowcrete Pours its Brewery Floor Advice
During Craft Beer Week, Flowcrete Americas reflects on its first hand experience of the growing industry and the breweries that it has helped to create high performance yet distinctly personal production facilities.
The sector’s boom is exemplified by the fact that in 2005 there were 991 brewpubs and only 534 microbreweries – while today there are a 1,412 brewpubs and the number of microbreweries has shot up 428% to 1,871!
And for many this success has been built on the back of a Flowcrete Americas floor, as the resin specialists have been working with some of the nation’s most creative beer artisans to provide fit-for-purpose surfaces that help to keep the bubbles in the beer and out of the floor.
Due to the eccentric entrepreneurship of many craft brewers this has seen Flowcrete embark on projects ranging from refurbishing former NASA rocket facilities, old warehouses and vintage breweries to working on modern new-build production facilities.
In the earliest days of the industry’s boom Flowcrete Americas was working with one of the nation’s oldest and most well known craft beer brands, the Boston Beer Co. The two businesses have repeatedly worked together in Cincinnati, OH, Allentown, PA and Boston, MA, to install the robust polyurethane flooring solution Flowfresh - creating the ideal platform for the production of bottle after bottle of Samuel Adams beer.
Flowcrete Americas Marketing Manager, Dave McNeece, explains why a flooring system like Flowfresh is required in a brewery: “There’s a blend of time, effort, patience and creativity that goes into creating a quality craft beer. There’s also a lot of heavy equipment, corrosive substances, humidity, bulky kegs, spillages and forklift trucks involved - which can all take a toll on the floor. If the floor is not clean and seamless then not only does it spoil the brewery’s appearance but it can become a serious hygiene problem.
“A thick, seamless polyurethane system such as Flowfresh is ideal for creating a robust surface that can withstand these conditions and we even add an antimicrobial additive into the floor finish to minimize the risk of unwanted bacteria build up.”
The creators of the increasingly popular Vienna Lager also installed Flowfresh when it needed to expand with a new brewery in Lexington, VA. The Devils Backbone Brewery’s Outpost exemplifies the cutting edge of contemporary craft brewing and packaging - 15,000 sq. ft. of custom built brewery, complete with a state-of-the-art brewing system, bottling line, tap room and hygienic floor area in a rich, deep red that is able to withstand all this equipment while maintaining a visually appealing and unblemished surface.
From the biggest craft brewer to the smallest, Flowcrete Americas has shared its flooring expertise with a long list of innovative independent beer producers around the country. The attention to both functional and artistic detail that brewers focus on their buildings is a common theme, as it is important for their facilities to reflect the spirit of the owners and their produce.
In the Southeast’s flourishing craft beer sector this includes breweries such as Southern Brewing and Creature Comforts Brewing Co. in Georgia, Four Saints Brewing and Haw River Farmhouse Ale Brewery in North Carolina, Florida’s new Brew Hub and Virginia’s Pale Fire Brewing. While across the North breweries such as the Big Bear Brewery in Washington and Milwaukee’s Brenner’s Brewery have applied Flowcrete flooring solutions.
The Florida Beer Company presented Flowcrete Americas with one of its more unique challenges – to turn the former site of Chrysler Corporation’s Ballistic Missile and Space Activities into a colorful 60,000 sq. ft. facility able to mill, mash, bottle and box 28 varieties of ales, lagers, pilsners, porters, stouts and ciders.
Aesthetics is an important aspect of a brewery’s floor, as often the production areas are customer facing. This was the case for the Florida Beer Company, as the brewery would be visible from the tasting lounge. Flowfresh and the chemically resistant Flowcoat SF41 HCS was supplied in vivid reds and yellows as well as a crisp white and sumptuous plum to create a floor area that would impress those drinking the company’s wares.
While Craft Beer Week celebrates the USA’s love of a fine brew, Flowcrete Americas has seen the industry’s revolution spread across borders. This is especially true in Canada, where appearance was also a crucial factor for the experimental Brassneck Brewery when it transformed a warehouse in Vancouver, BC into a glass fronted brewhouse where passers-by can see the tanks and fermenting equipment.
To make sure that this public facing area tied into the brand’s urban aesthetic a textured, light gray Flowfresh SLB floor was installed. Stainless steel drainage was incorporated into the finish to quickly remove unwanted liquids, spillages and contaminants from the public’s line of sight.
Dave McNeece attributes this range of brewery projects to the versatility of its resin flooring systems: “Flowfresh is available in a range of formulations to suit any brewery environment. For example the Devils Backbone Brewery opted for the Flowfresh SLB mortar system with a full aggregate broadcast in its cold storage, production, packaging and receiving area thanks in large part to the high level of slip resistance this would provide.”
“The experience that we’ve built up by working within America’s craft beer industry over the years means that our resin flooring experts are uniquely placed to advise breweries on how they can install a tailored flooring solution that meets their individual needs.”